Before we start with the Clive Palmer vs Mark McGowan debacle, I think some background is required.
It all started with a state agreement between the Labor Government and Clive Palmers business Mineralogy and the development of a mine in Northern Australia. A State agreement is a contract between the Government and a business, they are meant to be confidential largely because there are generally Tax Concessions and other bonuses that the general public cant get. It’s a way to encourage the private sector to invest in infrastructure so the government doesn’t have to pay for it. This State Agreement was way back in 2002. In 2012 the Barnett Government removed Clive Palmer’s access to the Balmoral South Iron Ore Mine, which was apart of the State agreement. He took it to Arbitrator former High Court Judge Michael McHugh, McHugh ruled in Clive Palmers favor in 2014. This should have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. The state Government Appealed the decision and both parties went to mediation with the WA Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin and then back to the Arbitration later this year. It is at this time that Clive made his original claim at $27.8 Billion.
Now where this gets even messier is the fact that the McGowan Government with the help of the liberals have now made it Law that Clive Palmer can not take further action against the government, they have also writing into law that all past government officials that have had dealings with Mineralogy are cleared of any criminal activities (quote – Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty. Ltd.) Agreement Act 2002 – Section 20 – No appeal or review or criminal liability in respect of protected matters (1) Any conduct of the State that is, or is connected with, a protected matter cannot in any proceedings (a) be appealed against, reviewed, challenged, quashed or called into question on any basis; or (b) be the subject of, on any basis (i) a remedy by way of injunction, declaration, prohibition, mandamus or certiorari; or (ii) a remedy having the same effect as a remedy referred to in subparagraph (i).
Let’s break that down. This legislation not only means that Clive Palmer can not appeal any decision of the government, but if it is found out that the Government acted in a criminal manner, he has no way to seek justice. And love him or hate him, this is not right and as Clive puts it, unconstitutional. He is referring to the 1901 Australian Constitution, the same one that under section 92 states that nothing can stop an Australian Citizen from moving and trading from one state to the next. But I think there is something else that Mark McGowan has missed out, and anyone who voted with amending the Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty. Ltd.) Agreement Act 2002.
Under the Australian Constitution there is section 109, Inconsistency of Laws. Quote “When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.” This is very black and white and there is no wiggle room with this. If the McGowan Government makes a law that conflicts with the Federal Law, the Federal Law wins. The McGowan Government has removed Clive Palmers ability to take this matter to the High Court which is the Highest Court in Australia. It is governed by the Australian Constitution. Section 75 of the Australian Constitution reads “Original Jurisdiction of High Court, In all matters arising under any treaty; affecting the counsuls or other representatives of other countries; in which the commonwealth, or a person suing or being sued on behalf of the commonwealth, is a party; between states, or between residents of different States, or between a state and a resident of another State; in which a writ of Mandamus or prohibition or an injunction is sought against an officer of the Commonwealth; the High Court shall have original jurisdiction”.
The important line there is “Between a state and a resident of another State, the high court shall have original jurisdiction”. The McGowan amendment to the State agreement between Clive and the WA Government goes directly against what this is saying. The amendments are saying that Clive can not take the matter to the high court, it is also removing the High Court’s ability to try this case is a fair manner. I don’t care who you are, but everyone has the rights to a fair and just legal system and the McGowan Government are using their authority to remove someone’s rights to a Fair Legal system.
My next question is the following, if it is deemed that Clive Palmer has been treated unfairly, did Mark McGowan Abuse his Authority as Premier to disadvantage Clive Palmer and remove his rights as an Australian Citizen? I personally think he did. There is way to explain what Mark McGowan is doing if the High Court rules in Clive’s favor…. Abuse of Public Office, as per the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Quote “(1) A commonwealth public official commits and offence if:
(a) the official exercises any influence that the official has in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; or
(ii) uses and information that the official has obtained in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; or
(iii) uses any information that the official has obtained in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; and
(b) the official does so with the intention of:
(i) dishonestly obtaining a benefit for himself or herself or for another person; or
(ii) dishonestly causing a detriment to another person.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years”
I personally feel Mark McGowan and anyone who voted for the Clive Palmer Amendments should start seeing a Lawyer and start getting their defences together, I can not see Clive taking this lying down and he will chase them all for criminal damages when the High Court Rules this act unconstitutional, I also hope that the CCC investigates whether what Mark McGowan and co are doing as a form of Corruption and an Abuse of Power, but it all comes down to how the High Court will rule the Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty. Ltd.) Agreement Act 2002 amendments.